10 Things To Do If You’re Thinking About Divorce – San Diego Divorce Mediation & Family Law
Sometimes the decision to get divorced is an easy one where both parties agree to separate, while other times you do not see it coming. Either way, once you are faced with divorce there are several things your should do before moving forward.
Can You Repair Your Marriage?
Divorce can be traumatic for you, your spouse and your entire family and social network. Before you go through the time, expense, and angst of going through a divorce, think long and hard about whether your marriage can be fixed. There are so many great therapists who can try to help you regain that love and respect you both once held firm. You need to weigh whether you can live a happy life in your current situation and if the compromises necessary are worth it. You may also consider a separation which allows you to remain married, but live apart physically and financially.
Identify Your Support System
For most, divorce and separation takes a heavy emotional toll. In fact, it can be down right traumatic depending on the circumstances. Now more than ever you will need the love and support of your friends and family. Reach out to those you are comfortable with and ask them for help. Just having someone to speak or vent to may make a major difference. Professionally, there is a growing and great group of divorce coaches like Kelly Myers and others who can assist you. These are people who have dedicated themselves exclusively to coaching parties through their divorce and they can help you stay rational. Also consider scheduling sessions with a counselor or therapist, for instance Lynn Waldman is an exceptional option.
What Do You Own? What Do You Owe? Organize Your Finances
Divorce, as crudely as thing may sound, is a business transaction. It entails the separation of your community assets and debts, and it’s important to start figuring out this information sooner rather than later. The assets you brought into the marriage will leave with you for the most part, but almost everything either of you have earned, bought, or obtained during the marriage has to be divided. Debts are also divided when you file for divorce. Debts entered into during marriage must be split—half and half in California as a community property state. Make a list of all your significant assets as well as your debts and assign them accurate values so that you’re working from a helpful spreadsheet. This is a serious, significant and scary step that people need to do early on.
Your Kids Matter Most
If you have children, custody is an emotional and difficult issue. Learn about legal and physical custody and think about what arrangement would be best for your children. What you want and what would benefit them most may not be the same thing. Remember to keep their interest in mind with every action you take, and starting making an effort to begin co-parenting with your spouse. This may be very challenging, frustrating, and upsetting but the work you put in now can do so much to protect your children during this time.
Understand Early On That Winning Doesn’t Matter – Mediate Your Divorce Whenever Possible
There are a few ways that you can actually undertake the process of getting divorced. The best process is called mediation. This works incredibly well for 95% of the population. Mediation enables you to control and own the outcome of your divorce. You and your spouse, along with the aid of a professional mediator can work together to come to agreement on all aspects of your divorce. Scott Levin is certainly a great option for divorce mediation in San Diego as he is an attorney, Certified Financial Divorce Analyst and someone who exclusively practices in mediation. That’s the sweet spot that you want to find. That’s a person that knows what they are doing and can help.
What Do You Really Want? You Need To Identify Your Key Objectives
The bottom line question you need to address is what is it that you personally truly want and need right now emotionally, financially and legally. Your mediator, lawyer, friends, family and co-workers all have opinions. And most of them will unfortunately feed into your biggest fears and paranoia. But in the end, you are the one who has to live with the decisions you make. Begin thinking about your goals during this process. Separate wants from needs while being realistic about your options.
We suggest that you interview at least two mediators and two family law attorneys before deciding on the process you will use to divorce and the approach you will take to this life defining event. Even if you are in mediation, you should still hire an experienced family law attorney to give you advice and review your documents. Just don’t let a litigator drag you into mediation with sweet sweet promises because the reality is that you can negotiate a settlement much better and save yourself tons of time and money in the process through mediation.
Branch Out Beyond Legal To Speak With Financial, Career, College & Real Estate Advisors To Get Answers To Your Other Questions.
Often a financial advisor experienced in divorce such as Tanya Aure can really help you with collecting documents, identifying separate and community assets and debts, and just help you strategize about how you might pay for a divorce or what might be in your interest to ask for in the settlement. A child therapist who has counseled other parents through divorce may do much to help you support your child. A real estate broker might advise you on your practical housing questions, such as the pros and cons of renting vs. buying if you divorce, or what your house might be appraised for. When a question comes to mind, think about who is out there and who might have the answer for you.
Stay positive and forward focused
For most this is a challenging time in a person’s life. You will often feel frightened, frustrated, and confused. It is important to know that by working through these challenges, this will be the worst part of your divorce. Once it is over you can begin rebuilding as needed and moving forward in a positive direction.
Give San Diego Divorce Mediation & Family Law A Ring
We can help during a free consultation identify other professionals you can speak with and give you advice about the process and information you should start to consider and understand. We want what is best for you and your children.